Opened in: February 2014
Owned by: André Balazs
The story: The long awaited first London hotel from American hotelier André Balazs, Chiltern Firehouse has had the media reeling this year. With Hollywood celebrities visiting in their coach loads and a waiting list longer than the length of the River Thames, the new hotel was THE place to be seen this summer. The transformation of the Victorian-gothic fire station build in 1889 into a sleek boutique was in capable hands; Balazs is the man behind some of North America’s most glamorous hotels. Located at 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, the 26-bedroom hotel and 200 capacity restaurant has now become a swanky New York-inspired eatery and boutique establishment.
Why we like it: Balazs has packed up his traditional American style and plonked it right in the heart of the capital. High ceilings, hanging light fittings, large mirrors and a busy open kitchen, all help to give Chiltern a timeless feel. Guests are greeted by attractive top-hatted doormen and escorted through a pretty garden courtyard to their tables. London’s hottest celebrity hangout has certainly earned its crown this year and its popularity shows no signs of slowing as we head towards 2015.
Grace Dent of the London Evening Standard described the hotel’s restaurant as a “glorious dining room that is part classic French brasserie, part industrial—supporting pillars, a fireman’s pole and low-hanging lights—and part chintzy in-joke with pot plants, ornaments, thick hallway carpets and marble tables.”
TripAdvisor rating: 88 EXCELLENT